Transitioning to Remote Work: How to Ask Your Boss to Work Remotely

If you're looking for ways on how to ask your boss to work remotely, this is for you. Working from home is becoming the new standard for many people. It allows workers to carry out their duties away from a company-run central office. A worker's home, a co-working space, another communal area, a private office, or any other site other than the typical corporate office building could be considered such places.

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the transition from working in the office to working from home became crucial for many companies and businesses to keep operating and safeguard their employees' well-being. Several employees continued working remotely after the pandemic, and many others wished to transition.

Asking your boss to work remotely can be intimidating because they'll probably have some queries and worries. It's crucial to comprehend why your company could object to you working remotely, whether you want the freedom and flexibility that comes with working from any place or you want to be remote for personal or financial reasons.

Whether you're asking for part-time or full-time remote work, it might be challenging to figure out how to ask your boss whether you can do it. However, there is a pattern you may stick to that might ease the conversation. 

Below are steps on how to ask your boss to work remotely. These seven steps will guide you properly in conveying your request to your boss or bosses. 

How to Ask your Boss to Work Remotely 

1. Evaluate the Modus Operandi of Your Job

Understanding your job's nature will help you ascertain if it's the best fit for a remote job. This will enable you to know if you can meet your job requirements or tasks if you work remotely. 

Jobs that can frequently be remotely are those that: 

  • Don't involve interacting with internal and external clients in a traditional office or clinical setting.
  • Possess the systems and software needed to perform the duties of the role.
  • Access files remotely.
  • Have managers who can keep an eye on output. 

Also, there are certain things you should check out with your company in general before deciding to work remotely. These considerations include:

  • Do you need to connect to your office's VPN from home? If yes, what actions must you take to establish this connection?
  • Do you need any specialized equipment to finish your work at home? If yes, do you have access to it? 
  • Do you frequently speak with coworkers, clients, etc., to complete your work? How will you accomplish that while working from a distance?
  • Do you manage other people? How do you intend to keep doing this productively at home? 

Suppose you have covered more ground before making your request. In that case, your boss will view you as better prepared and have more faith in your abilities to operate remotely. 

2. Understand Yourself and Your Motives

Not everyone is built to function remotely. There are certain qualities that remote workers need to have in order to function properly when working from home or any other place of their choosing. The following characteristics, which are often found in effective telecommuters, are displayed by employees who are suited for remote work:

  • Self-motivated 
  • Technical expertise required to use telecommuting tools
  • Powerful time management abilities
  • Extremely organized
  • Adaptability
  • Focused 
  • Reliable 
  • Cooperative mindset 
  • Cheerfulness and optimism 

3. Create a Proposal Plan

If your job meets the requirements to be done remotely and you believe you're up for the task, then the next step should be creating a proposal plan. It is much more productive to have a formal proposal strategy prepared than to ask your boss to work remotely on an ad hoc basis. A proposal strategy will persuade your boss to take you seriously and also show your supervisor that you are serious about it. 

The worst thing you can do when requesting a remote work arrangement from your employer is to arrive unprepared. Giving your proposal for remote work to your manager considerable thought is important. 

The following step will help you create a good proposal plan:

i. An Explanation

Your motivation for wanting to work from home must be clear. You should give your bosses a strong justification for wanting to work remotely. Consider a situation where you will spend more time at home than at work, such as caring for children, adults, or pets, dealing with health challenges, or experiencing productivity issues.

Your job is to make the reason sound good to whoever is listening; fortunately, it's not difficult. According to social psychology studies, asking for compliance using the word “because” produces noticeably greater results than asking without justification. 

ii. Show you're Capable

Talk about your professional history in a way that demonstrates you can handle the obligations of working remotely. Include your accomplishments, performance, and any other details that cast a favorable light on you.

iii. Present a Workable Schedule

Describe the precise schedule you intend to stick to while working remotely. Include your work schedule and whether you will be reachable by phone, email, or other communication tools used by your company.

iv. State How you Plan to Stay In-touch 

Describe how you'll stay in touch with all important parties, such as clients, managers, and team members. The frequency of your contact with each person and your chosen manner of communication are among the questions you must address. Communication tools are crucial to maintain connectivity and information sharing at work, so employ them when addressing such questions. 

v. Account for Potential Problems that may Arise

Working remotely can have difficulties that working in an office does not. Make a list of all the problems that could arise from working remotely and devise ways to address each. This ensures you are prepared in the case of manager pushback and demonstrates that you have adequately prepared for this shift to work remotely.

vi. Make it Juicy 

The key to supporting your request is to show your boss the advantages of working remotely. Consider it building a case for your demand. You should think about how working remotely will improve your capacity to do your job well and benefit your team and production.

List all the advantages you believe working remotely will bring your company. Add at least three distinctive advantages.

Here are a few benefits of working remotely:

  • Better balance between work and life
  • Reduced anxiety from having to go to and from work and being in a situation where the illness might spread
  • Increased productivity since you have more control over your work environment
  • Fewer interruptions from coworkers and other office activities 
  • Lower overhead costs for the business as a result of fewer people in the office
  • Lower risk of illness results in fewer requests for employee sick leave.

These are the basic things your proposal should contain to make it catchy. Feel free to include other information you think would prop up your proposal. 

4. Know your Odds 

You have a good chance of having your request granted if you have been a valuable employee. Being a competent employee automatically puts you in your boss's good graces. As long as you support your arguments with facts, logic, and persuasive writing, you have a high probability of granting your request. Then before you know it, you'll be back in your ergonomic chair in your home, a cafe, or anywhere comfortable enough for you with your preferred cup of coffee, doing your job. 

At this point, it is important to note that this doesn't imply that you can apply to work remotely with an outstanding performance record. 

5. Make an Appointment with your boss

After you've finished the previous procedures, the next step will be to schedule a meeting with your boss to deliver your request. It would be preferable to make this request in person or via video conference call as opposed to over the phone or over chat. Be as professional and open-minded as you can throughout the meeting. Respond to any inquiries from your company and be open to hearing their perspective. To ensure your request moves ahead and isn't ignored, schedule a particular time to follow up if your boss tells you they need some time to think about it.

Also, keep an open mind. Make sure you don't think you have the right to work from home just because other companies do. Despite the fact that your boss might be cordial, the company might have rigid requirements. While your staff might be open to working remotely, your supervisor might be a little hesitant. Be prepared before a conversation, and pay close attention to cultural barriers.

6. Propose a Trial Period

Your boss might still be reluctant to permit you to work remotely even after you have followed the preceding stages. Offering some comfort by suggesting a trial term of remote work is an excellent idea. Your boss will be able to gauge your performance while working remotely without having to commit to the arrangement totally.

For example, during your trial period for remote work, you might spend two days per week working from home and the other three at the office. 

A different choice would be to work from home full-time for a set period of time, such as the first month. If the trial period goes well, your boss might be more willing to let you work from home on a regular basis.

7. Expect a ‘No'

Your boss might still reject your request to work remotely despite your outstanding presentation. If it occurs, have patience. Make sure you are aware of any potential income streams or ways to work remotely in the future. However, if you've had this conversation with your supervisors more than once and you feel like it's going nowhere quickly, they should be aware of how important it is to you.

Also a compromise can also be worked out with HR if your motivation for remote work is something more serious, like childcare or caring. Although it's not ideal, if you discover that you have no other choices, with this, you might be able to negotiate a possible compromise or access some resources to help meet those demands without remote working.

If you take these steps and your boss still won't allow you to work from home, you can always consider looking for a new job on remote job boards. 

Final Thought

Working remotely is becoming the new standard. The 2020 pandemic forced a lot of companies and individuals to engage in the practice. However, even after the pandemic, many employees stayed working remotely, and a lot more want to transition to work remotely, which results in the need to know how to ask your boss about your intentions of working remotely. Starting or having this kind of conversation can be tricky as there's a high probability many would refuse unless convinced. 

I have discussed seven important steps to take to have a smooth conversation about informing your boss or bosses of your intention to work remotely. These steps will enable you to properly relay your intentions to work remotely and show your bosses your level of seriousness about it. 

Working remotely full-time has several advantages, particularly for companies or businesses in countries still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's crucial to emphasize the following when requesting permission from your boss to transition to working from home. You would observe that these benefits not only apply to you, the employee but also to the company as well. 

Mentioning these benefits (as seen in the article) will better your chances of having your request granted. 

Even though these steps are not a sure way to get your boss to agree to you working remotely, they will help you properly convey your intentions with all the seriousness and professionalization required. Bear in mind that if your request isn't granted, you could also try other jobs with higher work-remotely opportunities. It all depends on how important working remotely is to you. 

Princewill Uchegbu
Princewill Uchegbu
Princewill Uchegbu is an SEO content writer and New Media Consultant with over nine years of experience in helping brands to amplify their voices to be seen, heard, reachable, and rewarded for what they have to offer by leveraging tech. He holds a degree in Journalism and Legal Studies.

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